Sometimes, the life of a senior pastor is a mixed bag. Generally, I enjoy it. I like having freedom to be creative, to try new things, and working to coordinate the programs and ministries of staff and volunteers. But sometimes, the administrative/organizational side of things is draining.
Lately, it's been the latter.
I have been working with various people of the church to do more long-term planning. We are trying to have a plan for each area of ministry for 4-6 months out. For folks who have this as a regular practice at their church, you might say to yourself, "Yeah...and?!" But for folks who don't, you might say to yourself, "Lord, I hope I don't have to do that!"
Planning ahead is both a blessing and a curse, at the outset anyway. It's a blessing because it encourages greater collaboration, delegation and creativity. It's a curse because it means double work as you do both this week's sermon prep and the sermon prep for Easter. It's overwhelming to try and hold the balance.
I know the work is worth it. Not only does it help me to be more organized, but it also frees me to delegate more aspects of ministry so that others are empowered to serve. For example, if I'm working week to week, then I probably won't know the true heart of a sermon until Saturday night or even Sunday morning. That doesn't lend itself to sharing that with someone so they can plan a children's moment that addresses the heart of the sermon. On the other hand, if I already know what I will preach about on January 24th, then I can give that information to the children's moment person and they have over a month to plan. Planning ahead = shared ministry. And that's a good thing.
But it's also a daunting thing when you are working on such a plan for worship and education and mission as well as planning a mission trip for 25 and summer camp for 100. Right now my church seems to be in a "training phase" where a lot of people are embarking on new ministries...which is GREAT! It still involves a lot of extra time walking people through the basics so they feel comfortable and confident with the task at hand.
And all of that extra time and energy seems to drain me of my creative juices. I suppose I'm not without creativity, it's just being aimed at planning and organizing (which rarely feels creative) rather than focusing on worship or new programs...something that looks more creative as an end product. I like creating new ways of doing worship and bringing in tactile examples and experiential components to preaching, but it's been hard to do lately with all my energy being focused elsewhere.
I'm still hoping that in the end it will all pan out and be worth it, but for now I am tired and wishing for some creative juices for the next few weeks of worship.